The Friendly Pine Siskins

by Larry Kocian

With all the snow that has fallen on a wide area of the region, it’s understandable that our wildlife does turn to us for their sustainable needs, like food, shelter, water. The birds are one such animal that look towards our gardens, birdbaths, bird feeders for nourishment and shelter.

One example I am sharing with everyone is one that surprised me and gave me great excitement.  I got the family outside to experience this rare act of trust and absolute need between Nature and humans.  

The star of this report!

Early Monday morning (February 15), around 7 am, I ventured outside to tend to our domestic animals, to make sure food and water were available and to check on their wellbeing. The temperature was 7F and the wind chill of negative 20. Being outside was difficult and dangerous for prolonged periods of time. After caring for the dogs and cats’ needs, it was time to go to the feeders, after a warmup break inside.

As I approached the feeders, there were many species of birds, more than usual.  I store my bird seed in a small, metal trash can.  I set the can down by the feeders to fill them.  Right away I noticed this particular species of bird that did not fly away.  I was in aww and I thought what if I hold my hand out with feed so I could get the opportunity to feed a wild bird with my hands. This became a reality.  Immediately, the birds flew to my hand, appearing not to fear me. I wondered if they knew me well enough that they trust me or are they that hungry due to the 8.6 inches of snow that fell overnight with blizzard-like conditions.  I believe that it is both.  

Here come the birds!

Throughout the year, I supply food, water, and shelter for many species of birds, both native and migratory. It is very exciting and fulfilling to be a part of their lives.

Wonder!

I videoed the excitement right away, capturing the moments where these birds came to me for food. At first, I thought these birds were some type of Warbler, as there were Warblers in the mix of the many species present. I learned later that these birds are Pine Siskins. After further research,  I learned that every couple of years, Pine Siskins make unpredictable movements into southern and eastern North America.

Friendly bird

I got my kids and wife to go outside and try to feed these birds and the excitement grew.  We have been feeding them in this manner for two days now.  What a great opportunity to have the chance to let a bird land on you, fearless, and feed out of your hand.

Visiting Birds during the Snow and Cold Event:

Pine Siskins
Sparrows
Cardinals 
Warblers
Purple Finches 
Silver Waxwings 
Robins 
Bluejays 
Mockingbirds 
Grackles
Mourning Doves
White-wing Doves
Woodpeckers
Tufted Titmouse
Chickadees
Carolina Warblers
Starlings
Brown headed Cowbird

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.